- Basudev Poudel
Tourists from different parts of the country have started coming to Sikles, which has been deserted for a long time due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He informed that 23 hotels and 20 homestays run by Sikles are filled every day by various organizations as well as individual tourists.
People are forced to stay at home for a long time due to the epidemic. Lately, Sikles has been becoming an attractive destination for domestic and foreign tourists due to its unique art, culture, and unique nature.
Located at an altitude of 2,000 meters above sea level, the village is cradled in the lap of Lamjung Himal. Due to the surrounding green forest, birds and wildlife lovers have been enjoying in Sikles. The nearby Lamjung Himal and Annapurna Second Himal can be seen from here.
Sikles is the largest Gurung village in Nepal with about 400 households. Sikles, which is about a four-hour drive from Pokhara, is a stone-covered and imprinted but very clean and beautiful model settlement. The uniqueness of this place is that there is no plastic and paper on the streets and houses and crossroads due to the awareness of the local people and the attention paid to sanitation.
“Tourist pressure in Sikles has increased since the second week of September before the start of the second,” said Gurung, who is also the chairman of the Sikles Hotel Businessmen’s Committee.
As it is like a living museum of art and culture of the Gurung caste, the last state of the Gurung caste, Kolasonthar, can be reached from here in one day. Devijang Gurung, former secretary and advisor of the Sickles Youth Club, said that tourists used to go trekking from here to Kafuche Himatal as well as Kori.
According to him, the Sikles Eco-Museum has also become an important destination for the study of Gurung culture. He informed that tourists enjoy the museum as well as the park above the village. In the museum, one can see the costumes, lifestyle, and traditions of the Gurung culture.
Tourists who visit the museum are interested to know about the most important herbs like Kutko, Kurilo, Satuwa, Vish, Jatamasi, Siltimur, Panchaonle, and Yarsagumba found in the Sikles area. Due to the various festivals held from time to time for the protection of the environment, the locals feel that the environment should be protected.
Gurung informed that the growing tourist attraction towards the art, culture, and nature of Sikles and the Sikles Park built over the village to prolong the stay of tourists here have become multi-purpose to prolong the stay of tourists.
Homestays and hotels run by locals are available to stay and eat in Sikles. Homestay operator Padam Gurung informed that the package has been decided to target the tourists coming here. According to him, Rs 900 has been fixed for lunch, dinner, accommodation, and breakfast and lunch the next day. Gurung informed that there will also be a cultural presentation in the evening if the tourists deem it necessary.
In the past, people used to reach Sikles, 40 km north of Pokhara, on foot, but now they can reach it on foot or by vehicle. Jeeps are readily available on the Kahu River to get here. Sikles can be reached by taking Kahukhola, Dhadbensi, Kavrekhola, Chhachok, Melcho, Thak, Taprang, Chipli, Parche.The village falls within the Ghalekharka Sickles Eco Trek under the Annapurna Conservation Area. In order to save the art and culture, fairs and festivals are being held here.
The ancient practice of giving information as a continuation of the culture is still practiced in Sikles. He informed that the arrival of tourists in Corona-affected tourism for the second time in a long time has made the Siklesi tourism entrepreneurs excited.
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